Aberdeen Football Club player Angus MacDonald has partnered with Clan Cancer Support to raise awareness about bowel cancer and the importance of seeking medical advice if things don’t seem right.

Angus will share his own cancer journey and highlight the services available from Clan Cancer Support at a public event at Clan House on Thursday, April 20, organised by the charity as part of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.

According to Cancer Research UK, in the UK the rate of bowel cancer in the under-50s has increased by around 50 percent since the mid-1990s. It’s estimated that one in 15 men and one in 18 women will be diagnosed with bowel cancer during their lifetime.

Angus was diagnosed with the condition aged 26 and has successfully completed treatment and made a full recovery.

The Dons defender aims to further support the charity throughout his time in Aberdeen while continuing his work with The Angus MacDonald Foundation (AMF), the charity he founded in 2020 to raise awareness and highlight the importance of early diagnosis, especially to people under the age of 30.

He said: “I never thought as a 26-year-old professional footballer I would have been diagnosed with bowel cancer. It was a bombshell. That just goes to show that it can happen to anyone. It can affect people of all ages.”

Angus previously had a blood clot in his lung aged 15, and experienced colitis and inflammation in his stomach but started to hide his symptoms after a doctor told him that his health problems could mean he’d never play football again.

It wasn’t until treatment for a clot in his leg years later led to testing which ultimately revealed his cancer diagnosis.

He added: “I would say to anyone with symptoms, get checked as soon as possible. If I had left it any later my journey would not have been as simple. It would not have been just two operations without any chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Quite simply, I might not be here, so my message would be go and get checked as soon as possible.”

Angus will be joined at the event by colorectal surgeon and Clan board member George Ramsay who will discuss the main signs and symptoms of bowel cancer, as well as the risk factors and treatments available.

Members of NHS Grampian’s colorectal medical team will also outline the support available to patients throughout their cancer journey.

Further guidance will be provided by Clan’s in-house health and wellbeing team who will be on hand to discuss the support services the charity can provide to those affected.

Kay Johnston, Clan’s head of cancer support services, said: “We are incredibly grateful that Angus reached out to us shortly after signing with AFC, offering to share his story in the hope it might encourage people worried about symptoms to get checked, or reassure those with a diagnosis to contact Clan for practical and emotional support.

“Our Bowel Cancer Awareness Event is intended to be an informative session for those who are dealing with a diagnosis. The event is free to attend and we are looking forward to welcoming guests to Clan House later this month.”

Commenting on the partnership, Angus added: “Support charities like Clan play such a significant role. They show that you’re not alone through a journey or treatment.

“Clan House is a great building with brilliant facilities. Going into the Clan building for the first time was a breath of fresh air for me. They also have accommodation for people who are travelling a long way for treatments. I haven’t seen that in other places that I have been before, it’s a brilliant option.

“I’m really happy to be working with the charity as part of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and look forward to working with them in the future too.”

Clan’s Bowel Cancer Awareness Event will take place at Clan House, 120 Westburn Road Aberdeen at 2.30pm on Thursday, April 20, 2023.

The event is free but guests are required to sign up to attend by completing a registration form which can be accessed here: https://forms.office.com/e/CFW0R85ie4

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